After being talked into posting my recipes on the internet over Christmas, here they are, one by one!
Burgers & Dumplings
Photo: Vegetarian Beetroot Burgers
As promised, my main burger recipe…
Burgers and dumplings are the essentials of ‘base cuisine’. Why? They are made to a large part of old or dried bread. Also, they can both be made out of literally anything – they just need to hold together. The only really expensive ingredients are the eggs, unless you’re a carnivore and want meat/fish/seafood burgers.
Here is a recipe for a burger base:
Leave leftover or dried old bread to soak in stock, water or spiced water. Choose burger flavour: millet, chick peas, lentils, beet root, mixed beans, carrots, suede, unripe spelt grain, soy mince, meat, fish, seafood etc. If using grains such as millet, roast and soak or boil them tender first. The other stuff can me mashed or grated into the dough straightaway. You can also add seeds such as linseed, hemp or sunflower. Add onion and spices such as garlic, mustard powder, paprika, ketchup, coriander, curry, nutmeg, pepper salt. If you want a meaty flavour, just use plenty of nutmeg, pepper and salt. Squeeze out bread, add the other burger material (about half breadmix/half burger flavour material) and mix with eggs and enough flour to make the burger not fall apart in the pan. Shape burgers and do some test frying first to achieve the desired consistency and taste.
As for dumplings, when I worked as a cook in a British canteen, I was told to make them from flour and suet only. I thought that was a bit bland, so I modified the recipe. Luckily, the next time we had run out of suet and nobody wanted to buy any, so I made some up using semolina, potatoes, eggs, flour and lots of nutmeg to go with some beef stew. So far, I have come across three types of dumplings: I call them ‘squishy, fluffy and yeasty’. Squishy ones are usually made from semolina or potatoes and use no bread. Fluffy ones use bread and ‘chunky’ ingredients such as onions or meat. Yeasty ones are usually sweet and can be filled with stuff such as plum jam or tin peaches.
Here are recipe examples for for squishy dumplings: Semolina dumplings:
1/8 litre milk, 1 tbsp butter, Salt, nutmeg, 50 g semolina, 1 egg. Heat milk with butter, salt and nutmeg. Add semolina and stir into a thick paste that detaches itself from the pot. Take off the fire and beat an egg into the dough.Take off bits of the dough with a two spoons and dump them into your soup/stock. Once firm, they are ready. You can also put some other things into this dough such as grated or chopped nuts, herbs etc.
About 1 pound of boiled potatoes
some softened butter
Optional: pepper, nutmeg.
Grate potatoes and mix everything, using enough flour to make a thick dough. Form into dumplings and boil in salt water for 10 mins.
You can also play around with this base and even make sweet dumplings out of is by adding a bit of sugar and a filling, apples or raisins and by later sprinkling the dumplings with sugar and spices.
An interesting recipe is also
‘1/3 kg boiled potatoes, 2/3 kg raw potatoes, salt, 2 bread rolls (dry, from day before), some hot milk.
Mash the boiled potatoes. Grate the raw potatoes into a bowl. Drain the liquid into another bowl and wait until the starch has set at the bottom. Drain liquid and add starch to the mashed boiled potatoes. Add salt to taste. Rip bread rolls into pieces and leave to soak with hot milk. Squeeze out milk, if too much was added, and add the bread to the potato mix. Now form dumplings and simmer them in salt water for 15 mins.’ (can’t remember where I have this from and can’t find the site either – if you find it, please let me know so I can credit it!)
Here is a recipe for a ‘fluffy’ dumpling, German style
6 bread rolls or dry toast/English bread (usually dry ones from the day before)
1/8 litre hot milk
1 small onion or 2 shallots
Some solid fat such as butter, margarine, lard
Green herbs such as parsley, chives or the green that you chop of leeks, salad onions or carrots.
Lots of grated nutmeg, pepper
Salt to taste
Stock (e.g. vegetable stock) Pour milk over bread rolls and leave to soak for a bit. Add all other ingredients apart from the flour. Use flour if dough is too runny or use it to form the dough into dumplings. Let dumplings simmer in stock for about 15 mins. Either serve with stock and a few chopped in vegetables (e.g. carrots, chives) as a soup or serve with meat, gravy and vegetables (such as sauerkraut). In some parts of Bavaria, 250g boiled and mashed potatoes, some basil, some more butter and another 4 eggs are added to the dough. Dumplings made this way can also be served with tomato sauce. Bacon bits can also be added to the recipe. In other parts of Germany, other types or bread are used (rye or dark bread or even pretzels!) and the dumplings are seasoned with majoram or caraway. You can also substitute some of the bread with ground tofu, meat or grain (green corn, unripe spelt grain) and mix in cheese and other things.
Yeasty dumpling recipe:
300 g flour, 75 g cornflour, 1 packet of dried yeast, salt, some melted butter, some sugar, some warm milk, 1-2 eggs. Optional: Cinnamon or other spices to taste, fruit, jam, or alcoholic fruit or jam.
Make yeast dough by mixing all ingredients and leave dough to rise in a warm place. Cover fruit or jam with yeast dough and either simmer in salted water or fruit soup. Serve as part of cold or warm fruit soup or sprinkled with stuff such as hot butter and sugar or even icing sugar, sesame or poppy seeds.